Tri-ang Railways R249 Exploding Car

In the 1960's, Tri-ang Railways and Tri-ang Hornby introduced many unusual and ingenious operating models. One item that in no way could be described as an essential item for the serious fine scale zealot went with a bang, literally. It was of course the R249 Exploding Car, which became part of the Battle Space series.

The Exploding Car was first introduced in the Tri-ang Railways ninth edition catalogue in 1963. Availability was indicated as ‘Summer’. It first appeared in bright red but later on Tri-ang Hornby changed the colour to khaki. Details and versions are well documented in Hammond 1 and 2. So how does it work then? Being a Tri-ang Railways operating accessory, it works very well.
Comprehensive instructions are of course included and following these allows you to make the car go with a bang.
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With the car in a disassembled state the first thing to do is release the safety catch and prime the spring lever by tensioning the detonator against the tension of the spring. Once primed the safety catch is engaged preventing any premature release and yourself getting some very sore fingers.

Now comes the delicate bit, fitting the explosive charge. Having spoken to Miles about this, he stated that the explosive caps of today do not seem to have the same power as ones of the 1960's, that is assuming that they are obtainable in this politically correct and health-and-safety obsessed age. The ones I managed to acquire would not operate at first so an alternative method had to be sought out.
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As always, the solution is simple. From the roll of caps tear off two caps at a time and fold between the two caps with the charge on the outside and insert this between the retaining clip wire and the base of the car, one on top with the other under the spring.
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Again checking that the safety catch is engaged it is now time to carefully reassemble the car.
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When you are ready to activate the car, carefully release the safety catch. When the car is tapped on the side with the circle, this side will tilt inwards and the associated cam will release the detonator lever. In doing so this lever will engage with cams attached to the two sides of the car and the sides will be thrown aside and the roof will also depart the car. When the hammer at the end of the detonator lever hits the carefully positioned caps, it is bang on!
Once again, another innovative and entertaining model for the person that does not take their railway modelling too seriously.